KARACHI (AP) -- Islamist militants bombed two Pakistani navy buses taking employees to work on Tuesday, killing four people and again bringing their war to the streets of the country's largest city.
The roadside blasts took place roughly 15 minutes apart in different areas of the southern city of Karachi, the country's economic heart, said Navy Commander Salman Ali. More than 50 people were wounded.
The Pakistani Taliban and other extremists have staged repeated attacks on security forces and other state targets in recent years. Allied with al-Qaida, they are seeking to overthrow Pakistan's U.S.-allied government or force a halt in army offensives against their bases close to the Afghan border.
Karachi, the seaside home of the Pakistan navy, has not been spared attacks, though hits in the northwest and cities in Punjab have been more common.
Police said the bombs were concealed by the side of the road, and were presumably detonated by remote control.
The victims included naval officers and employees of the force, said Ali, adding one of the dead was a female doctor.
Taliban spokesman Ahsanullah Ahsan claimed responsibility for the attacks in a telephone call to an Associated Press reporter from an undisclosed location. He said they would keep up the strikes as long as the Pakistan army continued to attack the group in the northwest.
Islamist terrorism in Pakistan began after the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, which caused widespread anger in Pakistan and destabilized its border regions. The extremists began targeting the Pakistani state in earnest in 2007 after troops raided a hardline mosque in the capital, killing dozens of people.
Meanwhile, 14 people, among them women and children, were killed when fire ripped through a bus in southwestern Pakistan late Monday. Witness Abdul Hai said the bus in Baluchistan was attacked by gunmen who later set it on fire. Other officials were quoted in Pakistani media giving a similar account of the incident.
But police officer Sayeed Farid Shah said the bus caught fire due to an engine fault.
Hai said the bus was parked at a roadside restaurant where he worked and he saw the attack
Baluchistan is wracked by separatist violence and civilians are often targeted, especially settlers from elsewhere in Pakistan. Information from the region is very to hard confirm, and transparent investigations are rarely carried out into violent incidents.